Logperch (Percina caprodes)
The logperch ranges from the Hudson Bay drain- age south in the Mississippi watershed to Louisiana. It occurs in the Tennessee River basin, the Great Lakes east to the Ottawa River, and Lake Champlain. Related undescribed species occur on the gulf coast.Two subspecies are said to live in New York State: The Ohio logperch, Percina caprodes caprodes, and the northern logperch, Percina c. semifasciata. The Ohio logperch has the nape entirely scaled and the bars even throughout their length; the northern logperch has the nape naked and the bars expanded at their lower ends, almost forming a row of blotches.
The logperch inhabits slower water of streams and lakes.
Two populations of logperch were studied in Michigan. One spawned in a swift stream at the outlet of Portage Lake and the other spawned over sandy shoals in Douglas Lake. The males moved into shallow water in late June, followed soon afterward by the females. The males formed compact schools that milled around in water 4 to 12 inches deep. Some of these schools contained several hundred individuals. Females generally remained outside the group. When a female was ready to spawn, she swam through the school of males, some of which then pursued her. The female settled to the bottom and one of the males mounted her with his pelvic fins ahead of her dorsal fin and his caudal peduncle alongside her tail. Both fish vibrated vigorously, stirring up the sand. Usually, other males joined the pair and vibrated with them. After spawning, the female returned to deeper water until she was ready to spawn again. Spawning took place during the daylight hours.
In the stream population, the fish maintained themselves in swift current over boulders and gravel while the females concentrated in a pool-like area at the base of the riffle. When a female was ready to spawn, she would move up into the riffle where she was joined by a male. Together the pair moved to a gravelly area where they spawned like those in the lake.
In Ohio, it was found that young logperch fed on entomostracans, those of intermediate size fed on insects and entomostracans and the larger fish fed mostly on insects. Several observers have reported that the logperch feeds by flipping over pebbles with its conical snout to get at the invertebrates unde neath. During spawning, groups of males search out and eat the eggs as they are laid.
Distribution of logperch in NY state. Dark dots represent where actual samples of logperch were taken. White dots represent historic distributions.
An image of the logperch is also available for download.
The above species description was taken out of "The Inland Fishes of New York State" by C. Lavett Smith, published by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 1985.